According to iProperty.com.my, the loan moratorium and loan repayment assistance under the Pemerkasa Plus package are timely for property owners with existing home loans from the B40 group and those affected by job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The platform is optimistic that the measures will help to alleviate financial burdens by allowing Malaysians to spend on essential needs such as food, medicine, and childcare.
“We also welcome the extension of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) until the end of the year as it will continue to encourage homeownership among Malaysians especially young people. Additionally, the extension of the HOC could incentivise more property transactions this year as property seekers would take advantage of the current low interest rate,” said Shylendra Nathan, General Manager of iProperty.com.my.
The platform has also urged the government and financial institutions to consider extending the loan moratorium to include all income groups similar to the automatic blanket loan moratorium introduced during the first MCO in 2020.
Shylendra said the moratorium should focus on assisting consumers from all income groups who have been facing financial distress from the start of the year.
“If these affected groups were not given a moratorium, this would cause the bank to register more non-performing loans which will affect their overall profit, besides regurgitating foreclosed properties back into an already stagnant market,” he added.
Additionally, he higlighted that the government could introduce income tax relief on home loan interest as a way to assist Malaysians who are currently servicing home loans and to provide an incentive to those looking to obtain a home loan by allowing them to save some monies via a tax rebate.
The cost-saving policy may encourage first-time homebuyers to jump onto the property ladder, which in turn will spur the local property market. This initiative would be a great addition given that the HOC has been extended until the end of 2021.
Another initiative that the platform would like to see is rental incentives for both tenants and landlords.
“To support this trend, the government could introduce an initiative that provides incentives to first-time and seasoned tenants. As for a suggested initiative to help landlords, the government could introduce income tax reliefs to them for providing rental discounts to tenants. We believe these rental initiatives will go a long way in assisting tenants and landlords in facing the impact of Covid-19,” he said.